Emirates Team New Zealand’s latest America’s Cup yachting challenger is ready to fly after a ceremony at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.
The huge, high-speed catamaran known as an AC 72 craft features a 40-metre high wing-sail featuring similar materials to those used in today’s most modern aircraft.
“Now with the huge wing-sail on the AC 72, the aviation and yachting industries are virtually in concert, using similar materials, similar designs and with similar size,” said Gary Chapman, Emirates’ president group services.
“The upright wing on the AC 72 is actually longer than a single span of an Emirates A380 superjumbo wing.”
The next America’s Cup challenger series, for the Louis Vuitton Cup, will be held in San Francisco in July and August 2013, with the America’s Cup match finals in September 2013.
Chapman paid tribute to the “skilled and intrepid crew on board, a whole band of equally talented and adventurous designers behind their computers, and a tireless, dedicated shore crew”.
He said that only one word described the sailing crew – “fearless”.